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Amazon deforestation alerts set a new record in October

deforestation Illegal logging and wildcat mining next to Porto Velho, Rondônia. Photo: Bruno Kelly/Amazônia Real
Illegal logging and wildcat mining next to Porto Velho, Rondônia. Photo: Bruno Kelly/Amazônia Real

On the day Brazil is expected to take its most significant step in joining the world’s fight against climate change, new data on Amazon deforestation undermines the government’s efforts to improve its international image. Deforestation alerts suggest that 877 square kilometers of rainforest were destroyed in October alone — an area larger than San Diego.

This year’s figures show a 5-percent increase from 2020, which was the previous record.

Márcio Astrini, Secretary-Executive at NGO Climate Observatory, told news website G1 that the numbers show that the Brazilian government has no intention of abiding by its pledges at the COP26 climate summit. “Carbon emissions happen on the ground of the forest, not at meetings in Glasgow,” he was quoted as saying. 

The Brazilian Report columnist André Pagliarini wrote this week that, “as international alarm bells ring concerning the long-term health of the Amazon rainforest, it is difficult to imagine that the situation will improve while Jair Bolsonaro remains president.”

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